MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Collegiate League playoffs officially kicked off this Sunday, July 24 with two do-or-die quarterfinal matchups and one exhibition game at the Rizal Technological University Gymnasium.
Game 1: RTU-A (3rd seed, 3-2) vs RTU-B (6th seed, 0-5)
The first quarterfinal matchup was a Battle of Boni rematch between RTU Lady Thunders Team A and Team B, where Team A ousted their schoolmates by 35, 88-53.
As was the case with their previous matchup, Team A bested Team B in just about every statistical category, highlighted by their trademark hustle on both ends of the court. Although Team B had flashes of brilliance similar to their counterparts, Team A had the more consistent game, proving why they are the top team in RTU.
Lady Thunder star Karlois Duazo had a statsheet-stuffing 17 markers, 9 boards, two assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks for Team A. Meanwhile, Bianca Castillano did what she could for Team B, scoring 14 along with 3 rebounds, helpers apiece.
The undefeated powerhouse De La Salle University Green Archers await RTU Team A in the semifinal round.
Game 2: CEU (2nd seed, 4-1) vs Blackwater Perlas Pilipinas (guest team)
The second game featured an exhibition of PCL’s powerhouse teams as the second-seeded Centro Escolar University Lady Scorpions faced the Philippine national team, Blackwater Perlas Pilipinas. The severely undermanned national team still routed the 14-strong CEU roster by 45, 94-49. Most Blackwater players were not able to suit up due to various prior commitments.
After going 19-10 in the first quarter, Blackwater unleashed a 32-6 run covering the entirety of the second quarter, making every basket look easy. Their on-court maturity showed early and often as they rotated the ball on offense for an open shot and shut down all zones at the other end.
CEU proved why they finished second in the regular season as they jumped to a 17-4 run to open the third quarter. Blackwater did enough, however, to keep the lead out of reach. Showing no signs of fatigue from having only two reserve players, Blackwater fired another crushing 25-8 run in the fourth to cap off their final performance for the inaugural season.
Cindy Resultay led the shorthanded Blackwater rally with 23 points. Andrea Tongco and Chack Cabinbin chipped in 20 and 19 points, respectively. PCL founder Merenciana Arayi had 5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in her return. For the Lady Scorpions, only Mary Ann Doloque scored in double-digits with 14.
Game 3: UP (4th seed, 2-3) vs PUP (5th seed, 1-4)
It was a battle of state universities as the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons faced the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where UP clinched the last semifinal slot via a 26-point pounding of PUP, 74-48.
UP shot out of warmups with a 21-5 run for the entire first quarter. PUP held their ground and cut the lead to 11 at the half, 32-21.
The students dubbed as “Iskolar ng Bayan” (Scholars of the Nation) traded baskets and stops entering the third. A technical foul was assessed on UP halfway through the quarter because they had 6 players on the court. PUP took advantage and cut the lead to 8, 44-36. However, the Lady Maroons got their double-digit cushion right back thanks to points off turnovers.
The story stayed the same in the fourth as UP further pulled away. PUP only scored 9 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Maroons coasted to the semifinals to face the imposing CEU Lady Scorpions.
Maria Pesquera emerged as the top Lady Maroon via a masterful 18-point, 22-rebound and 7-steal performance. Usual standout May Confesor contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds for PUP.
The league returns on August 5 with two semifinal matchups: DLSU (#1) vs RTU-A (#3) and CEU (#2) vs UP (#4). – Rappler.com